Global Alumni and Alumni Clubs
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Welcome to Penn Global Alumni and Alumni Clubs

With over 25,000 alumni living outside the United States, the University of Pennsylvania truly has a global presence in just about any community in the world.  Moreover, Penn Alumni can be found leading organizations of every type all over the globe ranging from large corporations, to government offices, and small local associations.  Penn alumni are using their education and experience to make a difference in their home country and beyond.  Penn’s alumni pride also can be found around the world as exhibited by the many volunteer leaders who work diligently to serve Penn as alumni interviewers, club leaders, and local ambassadors.

In Penn’s diverse community of engaged citizens, Penn’s Regional Clubs include over 120 clubs around the world offering alumni the chance to reconnect, to attend lively events and to get involved in collaborative initiatives that impact people and communities.  Club activities range in size and topics, from discussions featuring Penn Integrates Knowledge faculty members at Engaging Minds programs to intimate salon-style conversations, from celebratory happy hours to Penn sports viewing parties and from community and neighborhood service projects to group trips in the great outdoors. Penn Alumni Regional Clubs are charged with providing alumni with a variety of ways to connect to Penn from their own backyard.  Events are sponsored and organized in large part by Penn Alumni volunteers and leaders.

For a listing of current Penn Clubs and School specific clubs around the world, please visit the Alumni and Alumni Club section of the Global Activity Map

Alumni Making a Global Impact

  • Name:  Barbara Sofer

    Country:  Israel

    Current Global Engagement:  I best like to describe myself as a magida, the itinerant storytellers who traveled from community to community in pre-World War II Europe to share spiritual, inspirational and motivational stories.

    I work both as a writer and as Director of Public Relations for Hadassah, the American women’s organization that established western health education, modern medicine and educational services for children in Israel. My office is in Hadassah Hospital which draws patients, visitors and staff from around the world. It has very strong ties with the University of Pennsylvania, students, doctors and nurses are often going back and forth from Philadelphia.  I live in beautiful and fascinating Jerusalem, write a weekend column for the Jerusalem Post and recently co-authored A Daughter of Many Mothers, with Holocaust survivor Rena Quint. I’m an active member of the feminist Orthodox synagogue Shira Hadasha, an avid swimmer and the matriarch of a large family of children and grandchildren. We host visitors from around the world for traditional Sabbath meals. My husband scientist Gerald Schroeder of Genesis and the Big Bang fame and I speak, sometimes singly and sometimes together,  in Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Australia.

Q & A

  1. What books would you recommend to others?
    • I’d like to recommend my own book A Daughter of Many Mothers, because it’s not only a compelling personal story, but debunks the idea that all humanity was lost among the prisoners. My subject Rena Quint was a little girl whose parents and siblings were murdered. Women reached out to protect and sustain her. The book also gives a clarity to the hazy picture so many of us have of the holocaust.
  2. What is your fondest memory of Penn?
    • My fondest memory at Penn was in freshman English class, when I had the audacity to hand in a parody of Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews instead of following the assignment and analyzing. It was about my own first weeks as a small town girl arriving in the big city of Philadelphia. Instead of reprimanding me, the professor read it aloud to the class. It was an empowering moment that helped me as a cub reporter on the Daily Pennsylvanian.
  3. What is the one thing that all visitors in your city must do, or see?
    • No matter what religion you are, you shouldn’t come to Jerusalem without visiting Jerusalem’s Old City, with the Western Wall of the great Temple of Jerusalem. Fascinating tours take you beneath the surface, a good practice in a city that requires depth of understanding.
  4. Looking back, what advice would you now want to give to yourself while you were at Penn?
    • I would give myself the advice to stay longer. Because of the switch from five to four courses a semester, I graduated early. Why rush? The longer at Penn the better!
  5. What have you done or are doing now that you believe have the most impact?
    • I feel pleased that I have been able to build a life in Israel, to touch people through my writing and public speaking, and motivate people to enrich their spiritual inner life.
  6. Who inspires you?
    • I am inspired by great writing and great people—the latter those who take risks to help others.
  7. What were your favorite classes and/or professors?
    • My favorite professors were in the English department who taught me to read deeply and between-the-lines. A worthy life skill.
  8. What student groups did you participate in when you were at Penn?
    • I wrote for the DP, acted in the comic review The Underground, ate and prayed at the Hillel House, took part in anti-war demonstrations, and went to a lot of theater.
  9. Where did you hangout off campus?
    • I rarely left campus. The Dirty Drug was my on-campus hangout. I went to the amazing shows at the Electric Factory.
  • Global Activity Map
  • Global Activity Map
  • An interactive map that showcases global opportunities for students, global activities of faculty, and the global reach of our alumni.

Penn Alumni Travel

Penn Alumni Travel offers a wide variety of tours to destinations around the world. Trips provide a rich travel experience thanks to their educational character, unique access to special lectures with Penn faculty, and the camaraderie of like-minded intellectually curious travelers. To find out more, please visit the Penn Alumni Travel site.